As promised, Marvel released today the latest and greatest trailer for The Avengers. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, the film unites the disparate heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- manifest in previous outings Thor, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger -- to protect the world from the threat of Loki. The new clip contains far, far more action than we've seen in previous footage, including notably thrilling maneuvers by Iron Man and the Hulk. There's also a shot of Hawkeye using a bow and arrow.

The Avengers is much anticipated by superhero comics fans as well as the wide audience that the charming Marvel Studios productions have cultivated. However, some industry professionals like Golem's Mighty Swing cartoonist James Sturm have called for a boycott in protest of Marvel and its parent company Disney's treatment of the late Jack Kirby -- the legendary cartoonist who created many of the Avengers characters (and a great deal of others owned by the company) and his heirs, who recently lost a court battle to reclaim rights to the characters.

Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsowrth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Reiner, Tom Hiddleston and Clark Gregg, The Avengers opens May 4.

[Via Marvel]